Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Theories of The Avant-Garde HISTART5069

  • Academic Session: 2021-22
  • School: School of Culture and Creative Arts
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

The course provides an introduction to and analysis of key texts from the theoretical literature relating to the avant-garde, neo-avant-garde and post avant-garde.


Two hours per week, over 10 weeks, lectures and seminars.

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College level.

Excluded Courses





One 4,000-word essay and one 15-minute oral presentation.

Course Aims

This course aims to:

- introduce students to the range of critical literature (mainly in English) on the topics of the avant-garde, neo-avant-garde and post-avant-garde.

- provide a clear sense of how the notion of the avant-garde d
iffers from related topics such as modernism.

- provide students with a firm sense of the historical development of the avant-garde, and its later manifestations, over the course of the twentieth century.

- make students aware of how notions of the avant
-garde intersect and depart from ideas of subculture, mass culture, etc.

- foster analytic conceptual skills appropriate to this field of study (including transferable writing, research and presentational skills).

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

On completion of the course students should be able to:

Appreciate the scope of the literature on the notions of avant-garde, neo-avant-garde and post-avant-garde and understand its relat
ion to linked bodies of writing on modernism, postmodernism, etc.

Critically assess and evaluate the theoretical literature relating to the notions of avant-garde, neo-avant-garde and post avant-garde.

and describe the avant-garde in historical terms and appreciate its relation to mass culture, sub-cultural formations and other distinctive social and cultural categories pertaining to twentieth century artistic production.

Produce written work and verbal explanations relating to the above making full use of appropriate academic conventions.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.